Alcina hair division and caring cosmetics ensure stable sales

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  • Restart after lockdown phases promising
  • Repackaging: basic professional line with new categories
  • Relaunch of website and shop in 2021

In 2020, Bielefeld-based Dr. Wolff Group recorded an increase of almost nine percent with sales of 341.1 million euros (2019: 313.4 million) and also strengthened their position in the first quarter of 2021 with more than three percent growth.

With 40.9 million euros in revenue (2019: 44.1 million) Alcina contributed a 12 per cent share to the group’s total revenue in 2020. Despite two lockdowns, which led to hairdressers and beauty parlours being closed for a total of eight weeks, the hair and caring cosmetics divisions remained consistently stable. The decorative cosmetics division, on the other hand, decreased due to pandemic conditions.

As for 2020 promotions and new products, Alcina focused specifically on products that have been in consumer demand in the current situation or that simplified work in the salons, for example, in terms of hygiene and service. By means of videos and numerous digital offers, the brand took the opportunity to support B2B customers in the best possible way in areas such as salon management or further craft training. “We remained in intensive contact with our salon partners in 2020 and supported them as much as we could. Our digital offers have been well received by our customers and are constantly being expanded in the seminar sector,” says Eduard R. Dörrenberg, managing partner of Dr. Wolff Group. Also new digital formats for end consumers were created to promote customer loyalty.

Temporary colour refreshers in demand – haircare restart

Since many consumers demanded products that give their hair a new shade and nurture it at the same time, Alcina developed a new generation of glossing with the Color Gloss & Care series. In addition to colour treatments on site, hairdressers may offer their customers one of 20 special colour refreshers for home use as well as blend individual colours. With colour refreshers, clients may bridge the time in case their hairdresser appointment is cancelled and keep their colour intense for longer. This offer – as well as colour shampoos and colour rinses – generated sales during the pandemic.

After ten years with an unchanged look, Alcina started a successive repackaging of haircare in late summer. Haircare got divided into four categories, got a modern design and optimised packaging size. Thanks to new colour codes and names that highlight the main benefits, it will henceforth be easier to grasp which products are suitable for a particular hair need. The aspect of sustainability also plays an important role. Since the recyclable bottles do not require a folding box and instruction leaflet, packaging material is reduced. “We made sure that the changeover is done gradually. This way, it will put less strain on the hairdressers’ cost apparatus in these difficult times as they don’t have to keep a large depot on hand. The changeover will be completed in summer of 2021,” says Dörrenberg.  

Skin care has high priority

The skin underneath a facial mask needs more attention, so cleansing, soothing, moisturising and nourishing are more important than ever in pandemic times. Stressed by frequent washing, hands also need more care. A new hygiene hand cream nourishes the hands and at the same time fights bacteria and viruses. Alcina completed their hygiene range with a hand disinfectant gel that cleans hands without soap and water, as well as with the travel-size Handwunder (hand wonder) gel, which was also launched as a biocidal product with a new formula. In addition, the popular Cashmere range was complemented by a shower balm and a warming and soothing eye mask.

Lower consumption of decorative cosmetics – focus on eyes

With mouth and nose areas often covered by facial masks, especially the eyes are in focus. New eyeliner pencils, eye shadows and brow mascara turned the eye area into an eye-catcher. Lip and colour products have been struggling since 2020. As the care aspect is becoming more and more important, Alcina added rich caring lip balms and a lip oil to their range, in addition to new textures. A colour correcting (CC) cream for a delicately tinted, even complexion was added to the portfolio. For a target group that wants to make impure skin or visible blemishes disappear, the high covering make-up “Authentic Skin Foundation” in three shades was added at the end of the year. This make-up perfects the skin’s appearance, while vitamin E and pomegranate extract prevent premature skin ageing.

The first quarter of 2021 – good start after repeated lockdown

After salons closed due to Corona at the beginning of the year, hairdressers experienced an unprecedented appreciation from the public. In terms of sales, the brand remained, as expected, behind previous year’s result after the closures in the first two months. The restart was successful, so that March brought good results with the hair segment being the sales driver. “If there are no more severe impacts due to Corona, we expect business to be good and positive,” Dörrenberg said. “In the past months we prepared the relaunch of our website and online shop. Alcina Online Professional is a 24/7 companion that provides important and necessary information at any time. Our former B2B partner site has already been very popular; after the relaunch it will offer even greater benefits for our customers,” outlines Dörrenberg.